Students’ thoughts about the dangers shipping (not the UPS kind)
Romantic shipping. The one very common in all types of fandoms. The one where a group of friends lightly tease their friends about being a couple. Now as Valentine’s Day has recently passed, students may find themselves wishing they were not single or maybe wishing their friends were in a relationship. Shipping has been all too common among friend groups but there has been some worries about how students do it.
However, for the most part shipping is a very light-hearted activity. Senior Anagha Balaji, who occasionally participates in shipping, believes it is mainly for fun but also has a bit of caution.
“It’s okay to joke around to an extent but I think you should be cognizant of other people’s feelings,” Balaji says.
James Liu (11), a person very passionate about this topic, also finds issues with shipping and how it affects students’ feelings.
“It’s just that [shipping] should be practiced with caution and I think that a lot of people don’t really recognize its possible harmful effects, and they don’t put much consideration into what they’re saying and what they’re doing and how it all affects their friends,” Liu says.
Another student, Jade Wang (11), an avid shipper of fictional characters as well as friends, also has these concerns worrying about how it can lead to uncomfortable relationships among friends.
“When friends start shipping people, it sends very mixed signals to the other person. Especially if you’re friends with this one guy, and the rest of your friends aren’t really friends with him, because then it just looks like you like them, even though you might not have romantic feelings towards them. I think those types are probably still worse. Just because it can result in a lot of hurt feelings and misunderstandings. And sometimes friendships can end,” Wang says.
Of course there are some benefits to shipping like when a ship turns into an actual relationship. Jane Doe, an American High School student whose relationship started out as a ship among friends, also believes there are advantages and disadvantages to shipping.
“There have been both positive and negative effects. It brought the idea of a potential relationship because originally I was someone who would have said no to any sort of relationship. Then, at the same time. It was also a negative type of impact on my relationship because, for example, I would be too awkward to talk to that person because I’m afraid of having people [making] a big scene out of it and for people like me who are more shy, having attention is something that I wouldn’t want that much,” Doe shares.
As people vary from person to person, it is important to be aware of boundaries and limits to make sure the people involved are not uncomfortable.
“I think the best way to create boundaries for anything really is just to sit down and talk to people about it. It’s sometimes really hard for certain people to do that but I think it’s really necessary because if you don’t clearly establish boundaries you don’t tell them ‘oh, you shouldn’t do that, I’m uncomfortable’ then they’ll probably keep on doing it. I think the best way to just make sure that doesn’t happen is to say it outright before anything happens, and before you have to see the negative effects of that.” Liu says.
So, as love is in the air please keep in mind limits and boundaries when you ship your friends and to be mindful of peer pressure.
“It definitely is [peer pressure] especially if you’re not interested in the other person, but then when you get shipped so much, eventually, you just want to go with it because it feels like there’s no other option. Especially if you’re constantly shipped with only one person, [and] the other person is constantly only shipped with you, even if you do have some kind of romantic inklings towards other people, you’ll feel scared to come out with that. I think that also goes the other way, where one of your friends is being shipped with someone else, and, you know, everyone’s just kind of going hard on that and you start limiting [your] feelings, it’s very complicated territory,” Wang says.